“Lefty, I think I feel it… You know, that feeling!”
In Jeffrey Eugenides’ Middlesex, Desdemona Stephanides was, in her Greek farm girl fashion, referring to an orgasm. I’m going to talk about writing. Close enough.
I can’t count how many times I read on twitter, blogger, Facebook some writer berating me (not me specifically, but the general writing public) for writing about writing. That I should just be writing. Um… ok? Isn’t that the same fucking thing?
Every writer knows that feeling – that stirring in the pit of our stomach, the excitement of a new idea: of something we just have to write down. Sometimes it’s fiction. Sometime’s it’s a blogpost about writing. No matter what it is, the importance is that we get words on paper, lest we explode (or bust the seat out of our lawn chair/office chair. Yep. I’m talking about you).
Recently I was scrolling through my dull (and getting duller) Facebook feed, when I came across and event for a friend of mine at a local bar called Ruby’s Elixir. I didn’t know why, but the name stood out to me. Ruby’s Elixir. It rolled off my tongue in a pleasant way and woke the gremlins in my brain from their nap. I got that feeling. Without knowing what the hell I was going to do with it, I started brainstorming. I needed a character, and I needed something for him to do, but I was positive it would all involve Ruby’s Elixir, or at least partially take place within her termite-ridden walls. (For the record, I have no idea if the real place has termites. Just saying it’s a nice image. Lay off).
I know what you’re thinking – “Why are you telling us about it, and not writing about it?”
Fuck off. I’m going to. I’m just not ready yet. There are too many questions I need to answer first. (And fuck you for thinking you know my writing routine better than I do).
Point is – even if you have an idea to work on, it’s okay to work on something else, like writing about writing, because it is still writing. As long as your brain is moving, tossing words from lobe to lobe, sucking on vocabulary and stewing in rhythm and tone, then you’re still working on that idea. When you force prose from your mind, it’ll sound exactly that – forced. Let it come to you, because if you give it time and right amount of gentle coaxing, it will. Then you’re fingers won’t be able to keep up.